Behavior: The Homosexual: Newly Visible, Newly Understood

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THE BISEXUAL. Many married homosexuals are merely engaging in "alibi sex," faking enjoyment of intercourse with their wives. Some researchers, however, have found a number of men and women who have a definite preference for their own sex but engage in occasional activity with the opposite sex and enjoy it. The description of Julius Caesar's protean sex life probably contained a core of fact: "He was every man's wife and every woman's husband." (Caesar's wife was a different case.)

THE SITUATIONAL-EXPERIMENTAL. He is a man who engages in homosexual acts without any deep homosexual motivation. The two Kinsey reports found that almost 40% of white American males and 13% of females have some overt sexual experience to orgasm with a person of their own sex between adolescence and old age. Yet a careful analysis of the figures shows that most of these experiences are only temporary deviations. In prisons and occasionally in the armed forces,* for example, no women are available. Thus the men frequently turn to homosexual contacts, some in order to reassert their masculinity and recapture a feeling of dominance.

The homosexual subculture, a semi-public world, is, without question, shallow and unstable. Researchers now think that these qualities, while inherent in many homosexuals, are also induced and inflamed by social pressures. The notion that homosexuals cause crime is a homophobic myth: studies of sex offenders show that homosexuals are no more likely to molest young children than are heterosexuals. Homosexuals are more likely to be victims of crime: Sociologists John Gagnon, of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and William Simon, of the Illinois Institute of Juvenile Research, in a recent survey of homosexuals found that only 10% of them had ever been arrested; by contrast, 10% had been blackmailed and over 25% had been robbed, frequently after being attacked and beaten.

Insecurity and promiscuity go hand in hand. One man told U.C.L.A. Researcher Evelyn Hooker that he had had relations with 1,500 different partners during a 15-year span. Since homosexual couples cannot comfortably meet in mixed company, the gay bars become impersonal "meat racks"—not unlike "swinger" bars for heterosexual singles—whose common denominator is little more than sex. Keeping a gay marriage together requires unusual determination, since the partners have no legal contract to stay together for worse or better; there are no children to focus the couple's concern.

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